One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Either of two warblers: (a) (more fully "greater pettichaps") the garden warbler, Sylvia borin; (b) (more fully "lesser pettichaps") the chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in John Ray (1627–1705), naturalist and theologian. Probably imitative of the bird's call, but probably with assimilation to petty and chap.
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